Taking the weight off your back (Hokan Saddle Roll Bag)

Hokan Saddle Roll Bag Review (www.jrc-components.com) 

Approaching the age of almost 40 years young I have been wanting to make a minor change to my ride setup as something was niggling at me.

Riding an aero bike, with a slammed stem, which some may deem an aggressive setup, I find this is a very comfortable riding style. However only after having a professional bike fit should you do this, not because it aesthetically looks good. Some riders will tell you regardless of fit just to slam it. While it may look nice it could end in unnecessary injuries, but hey, it’ll look good at the café stop so they say.

While the bike fit suits, what I carry in my jersey pockets doesn’t. I like to be well prepared on a ride with taking a number of spares, some would say over prepared but it has served me well in the past being over prepared (once getting two punctures on one ride from shingle) and it hasn’t required me to rely on the wife to pick me up, stranded somewhere. It’s also helped situations in a group ride with giving those lesser prepared riders needing a spare inner tube or the tools to tighten a bolt.

Hokan Saddle Roll BagThe spares I carry are:

Two Lezyne CO2 bottles

Lezyne CO2 mini pump

Topeak Mini 18 Plus Multitool

Two Park Tool tyre levers

Two 20-25c Continental inner tubes. 

As a top tip though, look up on YouTube for how to pack an inner tube. Sounds silly but repacking an inner tube reduces its size by 50%, significantly reducing any unwanted bulk in a jersey pocket or the Hokan saddle roll bag. 

 

Any way we digress.

For a while now a large Sticky Pod has been used to house all the required spares, but as I load up my pockets, with a mini extendable lock (a deterrent if anything at the café stop), cliff bar and my phone, I realised I am carrying an immense amount of weight in my jersey pockets.

This has never caused discomfort, it’s just heavy, like I had strapped a bunch of weights around my waist for fun.

Saddle bags can be an odd entity, their looks often dividing many on social media. Riding an aero bike, its striking lines and a bike which has gone through many design iterations and hours of wind tunnel testing, strapping something to a bike of this nature you could say defeated the object of its design.

BUT, and it’s a big but, can a saddle bag look good? Yes, which brings me to the JRC Components Hokan Saddle Roll Bag.

I have always admired JRC Components, they make an array of fantastic quality kit, often made in a wide selection of brilliant colours. 

My first product I purchased from JRC Components was an out-front Garmin mount, after a previous (unbranded) mount snapped, almost throwing my Garmin into the road but catching it just before it flew off. I tried JRC’s version which has been going strong for over 12 months now, and did I mention it looked great too.

I’m keen to retain loyalty to companies who make good products and offer great service, they’re difficult attributes to find, but JRC ticks those boxes. From time to time I regularly check the JRC website to browse their products. It was then perfect timing with me wanting to lighten the load on my jersey pockets that JRC had just released their new Hokan saddle roll bag.

I wanted a product which looked great, tough and would withstand the rigours of all-weather riding, and offered a different look to the traditional saddle bag design.

The first aspect you notice about the Hokan saddle bag is the Atop dial. It immediately gives the feel of a high-end quality product.  Atop dials are used on many high end road shoe brands, allowing you to dial in the perfect level of fitment, offering infinite and easy adjustments when on the move, and the Hokan bag is no different.

The bag is made from a PVC coated 600D polyester, with thick seams and is also waterproof. The feel of the Hokan bag is tough, like its built to last which is important knowing your spares are going to be held securely, the product isn’t going to degrade, and the bag will stay securely attached to your bike.

The bag is priced extremely well at £25.60 (28.95 Euros. Price taken at the current exchange rate).

The brief was to transfer all, if not most of what was in my jersey pockets into the Hokan bag, making the bike take up the weight.

The problem with some saddle bags is they can suffer from the dreaded rattle as there aren’t specific compartments for each spare, leaving a void and room for movement. Not the case with the Hokan bag.

The design is simple yet effective. Place your spares in the pockets, fold in half, roll up, securing with an initial small but sturdy Velcro tab, then another Velcro strap lengthways along the bag.

Finally, a strong wire wrapping around the bag and tightened by the Atop dial.

 

The wire has a padded section which goes over your seat rails, ensuring no abrasion marks are left on the rails, then hooks onto the plastic clip. The Atop dial is then tightened giving a secure and perfect fit. 

Once tightened it pulls the bag up neatly under the saddle

The Hokan bag empty weighs 120g, filled with all of my spares is 626g. That doesn’t sound heavy but picking it up is what feels like a good hand sized rock. A welcomed weight out of my jersey pocket.

On the bike the Hokan bag looks fantastic, purposeful yet neatly designed and the Atop dial tying it all in nicely

The shape is different to a traditional saddle bag, avoiding the “wedge” like shape which bulges from your seat post.

The Hokan bag sits at an angle, moving in towards the seat post, giving a neat and tucked look, so not spoiling or detracting from the look of your bike.

This for me was one of the biggest selling points, a saddle bag which didn’t look like a saddle bag and JRC Components have delivered this aesthetical aspect nicely.

The Hokan bag was tested on a short 45-mile ride and as expected performed perfectly, no movement or slippage, held secure and nothing came undone. This is a product which will certainly last and go the distance, leaving you to just get on with your ride.

If you’re looking for something a little different, all your spares packaged in a neat and stylish way, then the JRC Components Hokan saddle roll bag is highly recommended. 

Look at www.jrc-components.com for further information.

Column by Cycling Advice

Anthony Walstow

Anthony Walstow

Written by Anthony Walstow
@CyclingCentre
Facebook: Admin on Cycling Advice
Author: “A passionate cyclist, obsessed about anything aero or tech with an addiction to buying bikes”

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